The SETA Foundation at Washington D.C. Presents
“Freedom of Press and Civil Society in Turkey: Going Beyond Religious vs. Secular”
by Hilal Kaplan
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Turkey has been undergoing significant transformations over the past decade. Democratization efforts in Turkey hit roadblocks from time to time, which raise questions about the role of the press and the strength of civil society in Turkey. Such questions have often been framed according to the “religious vs. secular” dichotomy. This presentation questioned the validity of this dichotomy by presenting examples from political positions of the so-called secularists and Islamists. In addition, experiences from public demonstrations that oppose the actors who support the military’s intervention in civilian life and politics were analyzed by focusing on the profile of both the organizers and the attendees.
Hilal Kaplan, is a contributor to Turkish daily Taraf and co-author of Henüz Özgür Olmadık: Başı Açık, Kalbi Kırık Hikayeler (We Are Not Free Yet: Unveiled, Broken Hearted Stories). She works with various civil society groups in Turkey including AKDER (Woman’s Rights Against Discrimination), DurDe (Say No to Nationalism and Fascism), and Genç Siviller (Young Civilians). She is currently participating in “The Young Turkey-Young America: A New Relationship for a New Age” initiative organized by the Young Atlanticist Program of the Atlantic Council.